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Flexible working and cybersecurity

It’s one thing to stay on top of data protection procedures when everyone’s operating under the same roof, but what about when employees are working remotely?

Daniel Lorenzzo

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Flexible working and cybersecurity

As flexible working becomes the new normal, how can risk directors feel confident company data is secure?

The era of digital transformation is well under way. As new technologies – such as artificial intelligence and blockchain – increasingly become the arteries of industry, data has become the lifeblood for businesses.

And yet many employees have very little knowledge about how to protect it.  

According to IT consultancy ESG Cybersecurity, more than half of organisations report a “problematic shortage” of cybersecurity skills within their company. 

Globally, we’re currently experiencing a cybersecurity workforce gap of 2.9 million employees, according to research from IT security training organisation ISC².  

Risk directors are racing against the clock to assess potential threats to sensitive company information.

And, for some, the growing global trend for flexible working may seem to be one of them. According to research from Australian cloud data security company Rackspace, letting staff and third parties access data remotely is seen as the greatest threat to cybersecurity by executives. 

It’s one thing to stay on top of data protection procedures when everyone’s operating under the same roof, but what about when employees are working remotely?

In theory, having more means for people to access company data from the outside – from a remote server, for example – means more opportunities for hackers to do their worst.  

But in practice, this shouldn’t be a concern. If a company’s cybersecurity protocols are up to scratch, then flexible working should not be a threat to the safety of their data whatsoever.

A central issue highlighted in the Rackspace research is the lack of confidence in a company’s cybersecurity tools and procedures. If risk directors feel confident that they have identified and resolved any uncertainties about data safety when it comes to remote working – and incorporated them into their company’s Disaster Recovery Plan – then there’s really no need to panic. 

Given the benefits of having a flexible working culture – including its potential to boost to employee productivity and retain talent – it’s worth resolving this perceived tension between data security and remote working.

According to the 2019 Global Workspace Survey from IWG – Regus’ parent company – 50% of global employees work outside their office’s main headquarters for at least 2.5 days a week. Flexible working is now the new normal and, just as with advances in technology, there’s no going back. 

So, how can companies feel more confident they have the right methods for managing cybersecurity risks in a day and age where flexible working means people are operating as part of the same team from different corners of the earth? 

Finding a trusted partner who can handle the intricacies and keep up with the demands of today’s cybersecurity landscape is essential. Risk directors can rest assured that their company’s valuable data is being kept under lock and key – wherever staff open up their laptops – by outsourcing the technical side to skilled professionals who understand the specific risks their company faces.  

Regus knows how to reconcile a company’s flexible working policy with a bullet-proof Disaster Recovery Plan, providing flexible workspace to organisations the world over while helping teams achieve their goals without compromising on a more flexible, forward-thinking way of working.  

In a cybersecurity breach, if access to networks is compromised, having Regus Dynamic in your recovery plan, along with our partner Pronto Recovery and Rentals can provide you with a clean restart to get your staff back online while your IT disaster recovery work to recover your network. 

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